Higher bounce rate than usual

  • 0
  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 5 years ago
  • Answered
  • (Edited)
Archived and Closed

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies and is no longer visible to community members. The community moderator provided the following reason for archiving: Resolved

Normally our emails have a bounce rate of around 0.2-0.5%.  My last email had a much higher bounce rate of 3.35%.  I've been noticing this with Emma - it seems that about every 2-3 months there will be one of my emails that has a much higher bounce rate than the others.  Is this a problem with Emma's delivery system or is this something related to the titles or content of my emails?  Or is it another problem altogether?

Thanks for your help!

-Stephanie
Photo of BrightGuy, Inc

BrightGuy, Inc

  • 5 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 5 years ago

  • 0
  • 1
Photo of Ted Hogan

Ted Hogan, Champion

  • 145 Posts
  • 83 Reply Likes
Greetings!
Let me jump in here with my own personal experience.

Our bounce rate seems to vary depending upon the quality and accuracy of email addresses in our mailing lists. In our case, a large percentage (about 54%) of our website traffic and leads comes from smartphones and mobile devices. I've noticed that some of those folks seem to make errors when entering their email address into our sign-up form -- I think I'm probably getting more typing errors from mobile users than from desktop or laptop users -- and I'm guessing that is from the different user experience of typing on a touch screen vs. a keyboard.

Anyway, Emma will self-clean your lists over time, i.e., if the email address bounces back as undeliverable, Emma will not send to that address in future mailings. So, your bounce rate will vary over time because it is an indicator of the relative quality and deliverability of the recipient email addresses in your list(s).

More info in this post:
https://community.myemma.com/emma/topics/what_are_bounces

Your mileage may vary ....
Ted
(Edited)
Photo of BrightGuy, Inc

BrightGuy, Inc

  • 5 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Ted, thank you for the quick reply.  I definitely understand what you are talking about, but I don't believe the higher bounce rate in this instance is related to email address typos.  I'll give you a specific example.  On 6/3 I sent an email to 5,233 subscribers.  I received 10 bounces.  On 6/10 I sent another email to the same email list, this time with 5,259 subscribers and got 176 bounces.  Between 6/3 and 6/10, we only had 26 people sign up to our email list.  So the higher bounce rate cannot be explained by typos in the new subscribers' email addresses alone.  Any ideas on this one?
Photo of Ted Hogan

Ted Hogan, Champion

  • 145 Posts
  • 83 Reply Likes
It is difficult to know without actually digging into your data. Bounces can be soft or hard -- soft bounces may be a temporary problem which may clear itself, so Emma tries several times to resend to those addresses. Hard bounces could be an formatting error in the email address or the recipient address no longer exists. Emma records the bounces that occur, but may not always flag the details sent from the receiving server. I added a link to that tries to explain how this works.

https://community.myemma.com/emma/topics/what_are_bounces
(Edited)
Photo of BrightGuy, Inc

BrightGuy, Inc

  • 5 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Ted,

Thanks again for the info.  I looked again into the bounces, and all of the bounces are soft and from the domain comcast.net.  So it appears there was a problem delivering the emails to Comcast users.

-Stephanie
Photo of Ted Hogan

Ted Hogan, Champion

  • 145 Posts
  • 83 Reply Likes
Hi, Stephanie,
That suggests that the problem is probably unique to Comcast. Maybe heavy traffic on their mail servers or some temporary interruption on their end. Soft bounces are not "fatal" errors, so Emma will probably try to send several times these addresses. 

BTW, I routinely send an email newsletter about once a month to a list of 31,000+ subscribers. My bounce rate varies between about 2% on the high side to only a small handful on the low side. It varies over time, but for over 18 months my bounce rate has been running in that narrow range. Emma is consistently providing me with the best delivery rates I've ever experienced of over 98%

Good luck!
Ted
(Edited)
Photo of Association of Research Libraries

Association of Research Libraries

  • 14 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Over the past week, most of our campaigns have had a much higher bounce rate than usual: 4%–5% compared to our norm of around 0.2%. Unlike Stephanie, I can't see a patten in the bounce details (there's a variety of soft and hard bounces from a variety of domains). The number of hard bounces worries me...I'm concerned that more servers are marking our campaigns as spam or something and we're losing good email addresses. I've been using Emma for 7 years and have never noticed such high bounce rates before.

Thanks for any advice,
Kaylyn
Photo of Tyler Scott

Tyler Scott, Employee

  • 805 Posts
  • 39 Reply Likes
Hey Kaylyn! I jumped into your account to look at some of the reply codes from your past few mailings. (Reply codes are what your recipients’ servers send Emma to give her some indication of how the transaction went.) Many of them looked to have been affected by a hiccup we encountered with a reverse-DNS issue. As Wikipedia helpfully explains: "In computer networking, reverse DNS lookup or reverse DNS resolution (rDNS) is the determination of a domain name that is associated with a given IP address using the Domain Name Service (DNS) of the Internet." That’s a lot to get through, for sure, but the good news is that our delivery team quickly jumped into action to fix the problem, and moving forward, you should see those bounce numbers get back to the low numbers you've been accustomed to.

Thanks!